Posted September 2010
Key elements of health reporting:
- What’s the total cost?
- How often do benefits occur?
- How often do harms occur?
- How strong is the evidence? (only 30 in the study!!!)
- Are there alternative options?
- Is this really a new approach?
- Is it available to me?
- Who’s promoting this?
- Do they have a conflict of interest?
(Sorry we lost the reference)
“NIH Eyes Sweeping Reform of Peer Review”
from Science, November 1999, vol 286
This article describes the results of a “blue-ribbon” panel convened to discuss reforms at NIH. National Academy of Sciences president, Bruce Alberts “wants to completely restructured the array of study sections operated by NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) which pass judgement on about three-quarters of NIH grant applications”..
According to this article CSR has already “fashioned new study sections that handle applications from clinical researchers who feel they don’t get a fair shake in panels dominated by laboratory researchers and to provide homes for research proposals that don’t seem to fit anywhere else”.
What prompted the move to change the CSR system was a belief that the peer-review method was too often marred by “error-prone, turf-conscious nitpicking by obsolete study sections that reject novel ideas out of fear, ignorance or self-interest.”
Ann’s NOTE: There is a long way to go to fix the existing system. I have heard the complaints raised by researchers who are outside of the usual establishments, or areas of study. They do feel short-changed. It has been shown that the system favors those in postitions of power or key areas rather than new researchers. A prime example of this is the work done by the Department of Defense with its breast cancer research funds. The DOD chose to fund new idea people. This was a radical step. It is acknowledged by “insiders” that the best way to get funding is to have had funding. A bit of an “old boy network” thing.
Changes could be beneficial. I hope that “consumers”, that is what they call concerned citizen activists, can be involved in these discussions. We often add the forgotten human face.
Advocates & Conflict of InterestAdvocates & Conflict of Interest
Statment by Margaret Borwhat
Women’s Cancer Advocacy Network, 1/04
Ann’s Comments: Pharmaceutical Give-aways
Disclosure Letter (for Advocate Donations) Suggested 6/07